HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Divers may soon wax lyrical about some new hot installation -- The water's fine

Frigid ocean depths may become a more hospitable place for scuba divers who have to spend hours underwater at temperatures just above freezing, thanks to the US Navy.

For some jobs, divers can wear "hot water suits" that rely on warm water being pumped around a suit via a hose from the surface, but the hose can get in the way. So the US Navy has long been experimenting with special materials to prevent heat loss. Now it looks as though they're finally getting somewhere.

The secret is a layer of foam containing bits of wax inside tiny plastic beads, each just a tenth the width of a human hair. These bits of wax melt and freeze as the temperature changes. While the diver is putting on the drysuit, the wax absorbs warmth from the diver's body and melts. But when the diver slips into the icy waters, the wax freezes, radiating latent heat back to the diver.

The waxes are long hydrocarbon chains that have been chosen because of the temperatures at which they change phase. To provide optimal warmth to the diver, the waxes must melt at a temperature below that of bare skin-about 33 C. Similarly, the waxes must freeze at temperatures as high as 18 C to provide enough heat to the diver.

So far, the warming effect lasts for about the first half an hour or so of the dive (Ocean Engineering, vol 26, p 547), but the US Navy wants to improve on that, says Lew Nuckols, of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, the Navy scientist developing the suit. He is looking at various ways of extending the warming period, such as packing more of the waxes into the diving suit liner or weaving the beads into layers of synthetic fabric instead of foam.

The beads, which look like fine dust, can be placed inside fabric fibres by mixing them with the liquid polymers used to make artificial fibres. Fabrics such as polypropylene, which is water-resistant, are made by pumping a liquid polymer through a device like a spaghetti-maker. Anoth
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-171-331-2751
New Scientist
24-Jun-1999


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Fostering Diversity in the Sciences Symposium
2. Diversity: What people, grain sorghum have in common
3. Diversity hot spots at cold seeps?
4. JGI and Diversa Corp. announce large-scale microbial sequencing collaboration
5. Diversity of species triumphs
6. Diversity of trees in forests may be caused by soil pathogens, IU biologists find
7. Undiscovered Biological Diversity: A Symposium On Bioprospecting
8. New Areas Of High Biological Diversity Discovered
9. Little-Explored African Genetic Diversity May Hold Key To Human Origins, Medical Questions
10. Researcher Finds Worlds Most Diverse Home Of Slime Molds
11. "Health Of Hanford" Conference Gathers Diverse Audience To Review And Discuss Health Issues

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016 Not many of us realize that we spend ? of our ... need to do it well. Inadequate sleep levels have been found to lead to ... and even cancer. Maybe now is the best time to rethink how ... to manage their sleep quality? Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... Nearly one billion matches per second with DERMALOG,s high-speed AFIS    ... ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The ... Identification Systems) ... Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's Fingerprint Identification System is part of ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... 22, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... of clinical research, is pleased to announce that the ... and Life Sciences Awards as "Most Outstanding in ... unprecedented year of recognition and growth for MedNet, which ... years. iMedNet ™ , MedNet,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... New York , November 30, 2016 ... consolidated as a few players hold a dominant share ... Group, Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., and Merck KGaA, ... market in 2015. Transparency Market Research observes that these ... are focused on development products that are do not ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 30, 2016  Tempus, a technology company focused ... Penn,s Abramson Cancer Center have partnered to better ... to immunotherapy treatment based on next generation genomic ... of a research collaboration, Tempus will provide sequencing ... patient data to Penn. Utilizing next-generation sequencing, machine ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... SSCI, the ... to discuss the implications of the latest FDA guidance on pharmaceutical cocrystals as ... 2016 in Cambridge, MA. , The event follows the successful November 15th ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... discovery and development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that all ... (announced on November 3, 2016) blocked propagation of toxic, prion-like forms of Amyloid ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: